Subsurface Imaging

Written by Amy Hall
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Subsurface Imaging Using GPR

Subsurface imaging is done using Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR), which is a system that is able to detect and locate all subsurface utilities. This type of non-destructive testing allows people in the fields of engineering, mining, geology, forensics, and more to determine the exact location of such things as rebar, conduit, electrical wiring, and post-tension cables without ever disturbing the surface. This is a great alternative to X-rays which often require many separate images which takes more time and more money.

X-rays also emit radiation, which is definitely not a plus when people are involved. Radar systems are completely non-hazardous, and they do not require a great deal of time to locate all subsurface utilities. GPR frequencies are also low enough that they can be used next to sensitive equipment without any disturbance to speak of.

Who Uses Subsurface Radar?

There are many professional fields that employ these subsurface imaging systems in order to help them with their planning. For instance, transportation engineers use GPR when they are in the planning stages of building a new bridge, highway, or tunnel. It is vital to their success and the safety of the construction crew to know exactly where all subsurface utilities are located.

By knowing where these utilities are located before digging or drilling takes place, the possibility of potentially disastrous accidents is eliminated. Heavy equipment or even human contact with electrical wires could result in electrocution or fire, which would pose an enormous threat to the any person in the immediate area. GPR systems have helped take the guesswork out of finding these utilities, and they have done so accurately and cost-effectively.

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